Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Surrey Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

SURREY, B.C, July 13, 2013 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Surrey as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Whalley Athletic Park with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the City of Surrey, the North Surrey Lions Club and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve over 25,500 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Andrei Gornenski, Foresters Brokerage Manager, B.C. "A playground is an important piece for the revitalization of a community. Not only does it provide a first step towards keeping children healthy, but it's a safe, central location for the entire neighbourhood to get together."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.

"This renewed North Surrey playground is a great example of community partners working together to make neighbourhood enhancements for the enjoyment of children and families," said City of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. "On behalf of the City of Surrey I would like to thank the North Surrey Lions Club, Foresters, KaBOOM!, and numerous local volunteers for their exceptional contributions."

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with almost 100 playgrounds built or planned across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together. Foresters is a KaBOOM! National Partner and a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.

"The North Surrey Lions have a long record of service in Surrey," said Bonnie Burnside, president of the North Surrey Lions Club. "We are especially committed to youth and are happy to play a role in providing a playground to families in the community. It has been a wonderful experience so far working with the City of Surrey, KaBOOM!, Foresters and other stakeholders to make it happen."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the City of Surrey, the North Surrey Lions Club and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a 360 Degree Spiral Slide, Swings and an Inclined Cliff Hanger.

A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched the Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week. For more details, visit techtimeout.com.

About the North Surrey Lions Club
Serving to support, commit, and donate their time and compassion to improve their local community, the North Surrey Lions Club focuses on their efforts to help the less fortunate families in Surrey's neighbourhoods. Another priority is to work with youth through mentoring Leo's Clubs in local high schools. The North Surrey Lions Club is a part of the Lions Club International. For more information visit www.northsurreylionsclub.com

About the City of Surrey
Surrey is a city where modern urban development meets an abundance of green spaces, parks and farmland. Home to six distinct town centres, the City comprises state-of-the-art recreational, arts, library, and heritage facilities featuring an array of diverse programming and services. Surrey offers active, affordable and accessible lifestyles for its residents with a strong emphasis on reducing crime and improving safety. A warm and welcoming community, the City embraces all people and cultures. For more information visit www.surrey.ca.

About Foresters
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference. The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE: Foresters

For further information:

Contact:
Ted Uhrich, City of Surrey, 604-598-5706, TLUhrich@surrey.ca
Bonnie Burnside, North Surrey Lions Club, 604-580-2321 president@northsurreylionsclub.com
Maria Ganogiannis, Foresters, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096, mganogiannis@foresters.com
Alyssa Ross, KaBOOM!, 202-464-6162, aross@kaboom.org
       

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